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Although the economic downtown has led to joblessness for people of all ages, people 55 and older have a much more difficult path to gaining employment.

National Employ Older Workers Week – which begins today – seeks to recognize the great contributions of workers age 55 and older. Karen Mastronardi, the New YorkState director of Experience Works, says bringing national attention to the positives of hiring older workers will also help to dispel myths about hiring them.

“There’s another myth that older workers take a lot more sick time and are a drain on health benefits and workman’s comp," Mastronardi said. "And , actually, all the studies show exactly the opposite. They tend to be more reliable, they tend to use less sick time, and they definitely have fewer workman’s comp claims.”

Mastronardi says older workers are generally unemployed for 35 weeks while looking for work while their younger counterparts’ average is 26 weeks.

National Employ Older Workers Week runs through Friday.

 

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